What are Teamwork skills?

We all have heard about how important is having proper skills when working on a team.

Teamwork skills are all the skills necessary for maximizing the results obtained when working on a team.

It sounds a bit redundant but if you think it in that way, it is not really at all:

  • When working on a team, you must ensure that there are synergies and the overall output is higher that the sum of all individual outputs.
    • Otherwise, there wouldn’t be such thing as teamwork; it would make no sense.

 

There are different ways of approaching to these “desired” skills.

 

We propose you these 2 ways:

  • Individual skills approach.
    • Establishing which are the main average behaviour-skills necessary for working successfully on a Team.
  • With a worker-profile Matrix.
    • 4 main Profiles you can find at every company.
    • With just 2 simple factors you can find out the position that would be more suitable for any worker.
    • We’ll explain you which kind of people you should always avoid.

 

We must point out that all this knowledge comes from our professional experience.

  • We have listed down the best skills we’ve found in remarkable professionals we’ve met so far.
    • Then we looked for common characteristics and patterns.
    • * Moreover, we have consulted certain statements with a psychologist close to us.

 

Now, lets explain these 2 approaches, but first of all, one little thing:

Intelligence is the most important

Today, we live in a world with endless information availability.

You can learn almost anything trough YouTube or Google.

  • How fixing a light.
  • How calculating your Business Cash Flow, etc.

 

Having “information” about something (memorized) is almost useless today:

  • Hence, the most important thing is how processing that information.

 

We are not saying that you should ban anybody who is not super-intelligent.

That would make no sense, since technically speaking you would have it difficult to find a group of people with exactly the same level of intelligence than yours.

  • If they were smarter, they wouldn’t want to work with you.

 

We simply say that looking for “not cognitive abilities” like:

  • He/ She creates good work environment.
  • He/ She is kind.
  • etc.

Should be something complementary providing these people had a certain level of intelligence.

Your main target is succeeding. And nothing guarantees it more than having a group of bright people.

Examples:

  • Steve Jobs and Wozniak didn’t like each other, and they founded Apple.
    • Jobs had a terrible character, and nobody “enjoyed” working close to him.
  • Adam Savage and Jamie Hynemann (we love Mythbusters) never liked each other.
    • They have said it publicly a thousand times.
    • Yet they had one of the best shows ever (for us).
  • Etc, etc…

 

Being said that, we’ll now explain:

  1. Which are the main behaviors we have found out to be important when working on a team (that better complement an acceptable level of intelligence).
  2. How to determine any worker potential position based on 2 parameters.

 

Let’s begin:

1. Skills desirable when working on a Team

Whether you are looking for teammates or you are not sure about your personal skills when being part of a group, you should guarantee these 5 aspects in order to have successful results:

  1. Be excited about the project.
  2. Delegation skills.
  3. Be open to other perspectives.
  4. Commitment.
  5. Ambition.

 

Let’s explain them in more detail:

1.1. Be excited about the project

This is a must when developing any kind of Project and the very first thing you’ll have to guarantee.

If you don’t like what you are doing… the best outcome you can expect is a mediocre one.

 

What if you don’t actually like what you have to do?

 

You would be surprised about how often people don’t like what they don’t know.

In this case:

  • Read more about the Topic.
  • Find some interesting aspect you like.
  • Relate this Topic with something you know and like.

1.2. Delegation skills

This is a very important skill.

When working in a group you won’t be able to do everything.

 

You must rely on other people’s work and vice versa.

  • We have an entire page dedicated to “Delegation” skills so, if you have not visited it yet, we encourage you to do so right now.

1.3. Be open to other perspectives

Each team member must understand that his/ her perspective is not always the best.

 

They must “internalize” other perspectives as if they were their own.

1.4. Commitment

Each team member should be absolutely committed and determined about obtaining the best result possible.

  • You should always avoid having people who simply “look, contributing nothing at all.

 

Sometimes, at certain projects, you can’t choose who’s in your team. In these cases:

  • If you detect that someone is doing nothing, you all should talk with him/her no matter how uncomfortable is that talk.
  • Lot of lazy people improve their behavior after this kind of talks.

1.5. Ambition

Try having ambitious people around you.

 

Not only they’ll work harder but also they’ll “spread” their ambitious goals among the rest of the Team.

  • On the contrary, if you have lazy people around you, they’ll spread their laziness among the rest of the team.

 

Never forget this: ambitious people move the world.

 

Now we have talked about these 5 desired behaviors for each team member, we will show you a simple but effective method for “classifying” team members according to 2 simple factors:

2. How to choose team members based on 2 simple factors

This is a simple but effective method that classify every professional based on:

  • His Intelligence.
  • His Initiative / Pro-activity.

 

With these 2 factors you can develop a simple matrix like this one:

As you can see, you have 4 main types of people:

Proactive Smart people.

    • Bosses.
    • Managers.
    • People that like taking decisions and they do it well.

 

Smart not proactive people.

    • Intelligent people that don’t like taking the initiative.
    • Creative positions, for example:
      • IT.
      • Design.
      • Programming, etc.
    • Lot of times, they are the most important workers within a company.
      • Star-designers, outstanding programmers, music composers…

 

Not-intelligent nor proactive people.

    • Not very intelligent people that make everything they have been said to do.
      • Boring repetitive tasks.
      • Tasks nobody likes to do.
    • They are more important than lot of people think.

 

Dumb proactive people.

    • People that don’t realize how bad their “ideas” are.
      • They don’t realize about their limitations and how counter-productive they can be.
    • You must always avoid having this kind of people within your team.

This categorization seems a bit “cruel” but surely, you know a person who fits each profile.

  • Especially the “Proactive Dumb” profile.

 

Based on these 4 categories, you can conclude:

  • You should have a reasonable balance between Proactive and Non Proactive Intelligent members.
    • Having 4 potential bosses, fighting each other every day, doesn’t help.
  • In case your Project has some repetitive boring tasks, you should look for someone that doesn’t expect a challenging intellectual job.
  • Being pro-active is something desirable just for intelligent people.

 

If you classify all the potential team members according to these 2 factors and ensure that they all have the 5 desired characteristics previously mentioned, you’ll be able to build a strong balanced successful team.

Summarizing

Choosing the perfect members when building a team is like the “Holy Grail” for Human resources departments.

 

We propose you 2 approaches:

  1. Guaranteeing that each member:
  • Is excited about the project.
  • Has delegation skills.
  • Is open to other perspectives.
  • Is committed to the project.
  • Is ambitious.

 

  1. Ensuring a perfect balance between:
  • Intelligent Proactive people.
  • Intelligent Not proactive people.
  • Not intelligent nor proactive people.

 

Always avoid Dumb proactive people.

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